As much as they'd like you to think otherwise, the NFL does not care about the armed forces.
In fact, NFL teams happily accepted millions of taxpayer dollars from the Army, Navy, Marines, National Guard, and Coast Guard in order to "honor" them prior to their games—essentially making stadiumgoers watch commercials for the armed forces that the viewers paid the NFL for. Then an investigation conducted in 2015 revealed this disingenuity and commissioner Roger Goodell did the "right" thing by returning just $723,734 to the government and asking teams to stop the practice—but only after being caught accepting money to appear patriotic.
So one should take their whole November-long Salute to Service campaign with a heaping grain of salt.
But the same shouldn't be said of the league's players, some of whom sported patriotic cleats honoring servicemen and servicewomen on the first Sunday after Veterans Day.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 12, 2016
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) November 13, 2016
— Taylor Gabriel (@TGdadon1) November 13, 2016
A photo posted by Mario Addison (@hit_stiq4) on
— Drew Copley (@DrewASJax) November 13, 2016
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) November 13, 2016
— Evan Birchfield (@EvanBirchfield) November 12, 2016
Perhaps all too predictably, the NFL didn't actually let players wear these cleats during games. Just during warmups.